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Decisions of the Superior Courts of New South Wales, 1788-1899

R. v. Anzelark, Riley, Pearce and Pearce [1838] NSWSupC 82

riot - assault - Liverpool - penalty, enforcement of - Crown debts, recovery of

Supreme Court of New South Wales

Dowling C.J., 6 August 1838

Source: Sydney Herald, 8 August, 1838[ 1]

Monday, August 6. - Before Chief Justice and a Civil Jury.

James Anlezark, publican, and Christopher Riley, William Pearce, and Stephen Pearce, yeomen, were indicted for that they and divers other persons to the Attorney General unknown, did unlawfully, riotously, and routously assembling together at Liverpool, on the 2nd of June, with the intention of disturbing the public peace, and then and there did assault and beat James Brooks, Patrick Lockett, Ellen Locket, and Edward Hancock, so that their lives were despaired of; to the great terror and alarm of the liege subjects, in contempt of the laws of our lady the Queen, and to the evil example of all others in the like case offending.  The defendants are all inhabitants of the town of Liverpool, and with the exception of Riley, are natives of the Colony.  Brooks, Locket, and Hancock, soldiers of the 80th Regiment, and Ellen, the wife of Locket, deposed that they had been to a public house in the town and were returning to their barracks about a quarter past 7 o'clock in the evening of Whit-monday, when they met a mob of people among whom were the defendants, near the barrack-gate.  As they approached, Anlezark said "any thing red will do, let's give it them --- soldiers and soldier's trull," upon which one of the mob struck Locket and Brooks with a paling, and Stephen Pearce struck Ellen Locket a violent blow on the head with a paling which knocked her down.  They retreated to the barracks as fast as they could, but not before they received several other blows from the mob.  The defence was that the row was caused by the military themselves, and that neither Anlezark nor Riley were there.  Several witnesses were called to prove the alibi for Anlezark, who swore that he was in his own house when the row began, and merely went to the spot when it was just finished, and one of them swore that there were from twelve to fifteen soldiers present.  For Riley, it was sworn that he was in Sydney that day, only arrived by the coach in the evening, and did not leave his house until the riot was over.  His Honor told the Jury that if three or more persons assemble together for the purpose of breaking the peace and an assault is committed it is a riot in law, and when parties are proved to be acting in concert they are all equally guilty whether they actually commit any assault or not.  In this case there could be no doubt that there had been a riot - the only question of the Jury was, who were the guilty parties.  The Jury, after an hour's absence, returned a verdict of guilty against Anlezark, Stephen Pearce, and Wm. Pearce, Riley not guilty.  Anlezark was recommended to mercy on the ground of his not having committed any actual assault.  The defendants were admitted to bail to appear for judgment on the first day of term (September 15).


Dowling C.J., Burton and Willis JJ, 15 September 1838

Source: Australian, 18 September 1838[ 2]


James Andlezack, William Pearce, and Stephen Pearce, convicted of a riot at the last sessions and admitted to bail to come up for judgment when called on, appeared on the floor of the Court.

His Honor the Chief Justice recapitulated from his notes the evidence given on the trial, and the Court having received and taken into consideration several strong recommendations by the magistrates and gentlemen of the district to which the defendants belonged, sentenced them severally to pay a fine of £5 each, and to enter into security to be of good behaviour for twelve months in their personal security for £50, and two sureties in £25 each.



[ 1]This is also recorded in Dowling, Proceedings of the Supreme Court, Vol. 152, State Records of New South Wales, 2/3337, p. 164, continued at Vol. 153, 2/3338, p. 1.

See also Australian, 10 August 1838, reporting that the fight began when the soldiers called the native youths ``cornstalks".

[ 2]See also Sydney Gazette, 18 September 1838; Sydney Herald, 17 September, 1838.

Published by the Division of Law, Macquarie University